PHOTOGRAPHY BY GOLD & GOOSE
Much to the delight of the fans at Donington Park, it was nice sunny weather and their World Champion, Tom Sykes pulled off the double at the British World Superbike round. And when the happy Yorkshireman pulled into the winners circle, he said to his Kawasaki Racing Team crew, “that’s better.”
Yes, at the end of the day a win’s a win, but it was a much better race for Sykes. Not necessarily as exciting as his charge to the front from 11th in race one, but excitement can be overrated when you’re trying to defend a championship.
Sykes got off to a much better start and moved into third after Aprilia’s Marco Melandri and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s came together on lap five of the race.
It was then a three-man race – Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli in the lead, Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz and Sykes himself.
The young Baz was all over his fellow countryman Guintoli. When Baz made his move on lap 11, the battle between the frenchmen allowed Sykes to slip past and take the lead. A lead that Sykes kept, stretched to a decent lead and took the win much more comfortably over his young teammate.
“Yeah I mean I wouldn’t say comfortable,” Sykes said. “It was a lot more clean cut that race. To be honest I had a lot of helping hand. There was two riders, I won’t put them on the shelve to be named, but a couple of riders that let’s say caused some incidents and a few crashes because of it. So made my life a lot easier.
“It’s great. A big slap in the face from Imola, we really struggled there. But it’s nice to come to home soil, especially when the sun’s shining, Donington Park is really special. And to get the double again is truly fantastic.”
For the second time of the day, Syke’s teammate Baz finished second, but a good one-two result for the Kawasaki team.
“Tom was just too fast today,” Baz said. “Was coming back… But had to take too much risk to keep with him. It’s a good result for the team. It’s a double again. So I’m really happy.”
Although Guintoli was looking for a race win, he was happier with the improvements his team made with the bike and his better result.
“Race one was a bit of a disaster.” Guintoli said. “I want to forget. But I won’t forget the fantastic work that the team’s done to change the bike. The bike was completely different for race two. It felt good. It’s no secret it’s not our best track. But being on the podium here feels like a victory.
In fourth was Ducati’s Giugliano, who recovered from a bad start in pole position and charged up the pack to finish fourth, a much better result than his DNF in race one. Behind Davide was his teammate Chaz Davies.
Then it was a pair of Pata Honda’s… Jonathan Rea repeating his race one effort in sixth and Leon Haslam improving a position to seventh.
Bimota’s Ayrton Badovini made an attempt on Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias in the last few corners, but Elias took back the position at the line to finish eighth. Ultimately Badovini’s ninth place finish did not score since the manufacturer does not meet the homologation criteria this season.
That moved Lowes up to ninth, who made an impressive finish after having to rejoin the race after his lap five incident with Melandri. The young British Superbike champ made a valiant effort, charging through the pack for his team – who’s other rider Eugene Laverty also crashed and had to rejoin the race – and the British fans.
And once again in tenth – and top EVO rider – was Kawasaki’s David Salom.
2014 Donnington World Superbike
Race Two Results
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
5. Chaz Davies (Ducati)
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
7. Leon Haslam (Honda)
8. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
9. Alex Lowes (Suzuki)
10. David Salom (Kawasaki)